The company’s chief executive said child exploitation on popular chat platform Discord was “shocking”.
Jason Citron said any cases of child sexual abuse material, grooming or kidnapping linked to the service would be taken “very seriously”. The service he founded in 2015.
“As a parent, it’s horrible,” he said at the Bloomberg Technology Summit in San Francisco.
Mr Citron said Discord employs a dedicated child safety team tasked with preventing abuse “in a way that respects the privacy of all those who do not do these things”.
he is responding Sky News’ partner network NBC News conducted an investigationwhich disclosed dozens of prosecutions in the U.S. in child abuse cases involving communications from the platform.
These include at least 35 prosecutions for child abduction, abduction or exploitation of children, and 165 prosecutions for abuse. In one case, a man abducted a 12-year-old girl after meeting her in a video game on Discord; in another, a teenage girl was taken to the out of state lines and raped.
NBC News also found hundreds of active Discord servers that make up the platform that facilitated child exploitation.
What is Discord?
Many gamers use Discord to communicate while playing games online.
Its popularity has exploded during the pandemic, and it now hosts a host of non-gaming-related servers, whether it’s for chatting between friends or as an official source for breaking news.british treasury Even opened up its own server last yearwhich publishes government and prime minister announcements.
Discord servers can be public, but many require people to be added or requests to be approved to join. They support voice and video calls, text messages, live streaming, and file sharing.
but with something like WhatsApp Like Signal, Discord doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption, and moderation is largely up to individual server owners and volunteers.
Discord said in a recent blog post that its security team “leverages cutting-edge technology to proactively detect and respond to abuse, based on reports received from users, moderators, and trusted third-party journalists.”
It added that in the final quarter of 2022, it disabled more than 37,000 accounts for child safety violations.
Speaking at the Bloomberg event, CEO Mr. Citron said the challenge was industry-wide, adding: “There’s a lot going on on our platform at scale, and it’s hard to identify those things.”
He suggested that AI could be used to help address issues around child exploitation.